A Georgia bridge that residents say has had problems for years was closed after a storm over the first weekend of April. Patterson Bridge Road in Hepzibah may be under repairs for months, according to officials, and residents are angry because they say the bridge has been causing problems for commuters for a long time.

One resident stated that the current closure requires the 500 or more residents who live in her neighborhood to drive through a chalk mine as a detour. The mine, she said, was designed for dump trucks and is not suitable for normal vehicles. She also said that the bridge has received numerous temporary repairs over the years but has only received patchwork. The resident expressed concern about emergency vehicles having difficulty reaching her neighborhood. She believes that the city has known that the bridge is deteriorating for years and should be held accountable for its negligence.

The chalk mine road detour is a dirt road, which in the past was reportedly deemed impassable to school buses, mail vehicles and police cars during its use as a detour. Officials have said that they plan to gravel the road, but one resident expressed doubt that this will improve its condition, especially when it is wet.

Someone who has been injured or has suffered property damage due to the negligent maintenance of property that is owned by a governmental entity may want legal assistance in pursuing compensation. Tort claims against the government are subject to different rules, including filing deadlines, and the help of an attorney who has familiarity with these matters can be advisable.